What Type Of Advertising Has The Most Influence?

Posted by

You would think that the shift is clear. That true influence when it comes to advertising comes from channels that are more personal or more interactive. You would be wrong.

MediaPost ran a news item today titled, TV Advertising Most Influential, that would make any Digital Marketing professional raise an eyebrow (or two). "According to Deloitte‘s fifth edition ‘State of the Media Democracy’ survey, 71% of Americans still rate watching TV on any device among their favorite media activities. In addition, 86% of Americans stated that TV advertising still has the most impact on their buying decisions. The survey indicates that the Internet, mobile and social media channels are enhancing the overall television viewer experience, driving people to watch first-run programs and live events during their initial broadcast. And, nearly three-quarters of American consumers are multitasking while watching TV. 42% are online, 29% are talking on cellphones or mobile devices, and 26% are sending instant messages or text messages. 61% of U.S. consumers now maintain a social networking site, where constant streams of updates and discussion forums have made delaying awareness of live TV outcomes a near impossibility."

Welcome to media purgatory.

While television maintains its pole position as the dominant power in advertising influence, it’s still fascinating to see not only the multi-platform activities of consumers, but also how interactive those channels are when coupled together. And, if you think about it, does a survey like this take into account the type of marketing we see happening in places like Twitter or through the power of websites that allow their consumers to leave reviews and rate everything? Some of the thinking around television’s stronghold has to do with the fact that the conversations about shows, entertainment and brands that are taking place while the television is on in the background helps to reinforce its power, rather than shift the influence to other channels that are disrupting the full attention that used to be given to watching television.

That’s a pretty powerful testament to the strength of television advertising.

It also speaks to the many media pundits who extol the virtues of new media and the death of the 30-second spot without factoring in that we still have a global culture of people who much prefer to consume media than to create it (it’s something that Clay Shirky explains so brilliantly in his second business book, Cognitive Surplus). The report sheds some light into how deep the chasm is between traditional advertising and the newer channels as well. The question posed is…

Which type of advertising has the most impact on buying decision? (the percentage of respondents said):

  • Television – 83%
  • Magazines – 50%
  • Online – 47%
  • Newspapers – 44%
  • Radio – 32%
  • Billboards/outdoor advertising – 13%

The gap between television and online is dramatic.

But consider how mature of an industry television advertising is when compared to online, and also consider the creative. Beyond that, it’s amazing to see how much more influential online advertising is when compared to radio or out-of-home advertising. Yes, I’m going to defend online advertising and it’s ability to deliver much more than a great advertising message (always remember: marketing is not advertising), but none of this is set is stone. The media landscape continues to fragment, change and act differently.

Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that television is no longer powerful. It is.


  1. Influence can not be self-reported. In general, people have no idea why they choose what they choose. They receive many subtle, subconscious cues from media messages (paid and earned), design, various cultural influences, promotions, et al. The magic is in the combination of the substance of the idea (the hungers it feeds) and in the the art and theater of the marketing.

  2. My gut reaction is to let the world go on thinking this way. I realize that my stance might be a bit too single-minded, but selfishly I don’t want to see the rest of the world discover the real connective power of digital.
    However, I also think that the smartest mass marketers are of the same mind as you Mitch: “with and not instead of”.
    But for small businesses like mine, dominating one channel is simply working for us, digital is my greatest asset to help to level the playing field in the hunt for market share.
    Thanks for sharing this Mitch.

  3. It’s too easy for consumers to identify TV as the main influencer. TV tends to be mentioned even when a TV spot wasn’t aired. Nonetheless it’s encouraging to see the expected rise of the power of online.

  4. It’s too easy for consumers to identify TV as the main influencer. TV tends to be mentioned even when a TV spot wasn’t aired. Nonetheless it’s encouraging to see the expected rise of the power of online.

  5. Very timely post, Mitch, especially when you go back and look at my comment to your post last week. But the influence of TV only tells part of the story. Hats off to you for guiding us in the direction that we hardworking TV AE’s are now striving to direct our clients: TV is fantastic, but it much more effective when combined with digital media.

  6. I am with Joe on this one, small business that have embraced online marketing have a level playing field. Clients are increasing their business, referrals still play an integral part of their growth. However most of the growth is coming from a strong online presence. Prospects are finding them and doing business. I still find companies that put information up 4-5 years ago still ranking in the top five on Google and or YouTube.
    I would have been wrong on the TV ads.
    Timely article great for a debate.

  7. About a 1000 yrs ago we did some research on GM asking people how they researched their vehicle purchase. The numbers who said online were disproportionately low to the online population and to previous research we had. When we investigated further, pple said, “oh yeah of course i go the website, but that’s so obvious i didn’t think THATS what they were asking”
    The question in this survey asked about ADVERTISING. They didn’t ask about digital experiences or activities. I would think most pple don’t believe they pay very much if any attention at all to traditional online advertising.
    So my filter on this is So a question well asked is half answered – and they asked about advertising and got the answer they deserved.

  8. We must remember one critical element when discussing surveys and that is recall. I’ve watched it when conducting focus groups, people are absolutely sure they saw or heard it a certain way. Surveys are asking people’s opinion so we must keep that in mind. Add to that, if you have deep pockets and have created an integrated cross media approach, many will be unsure if they saw your spot on YouTube or C.S.I.
    For as long as they have existed, we have compared platforms as if everything on each platform is equal. American Idol is not Criminal Minds; The New York Times is not Vanity Fair; Lady GaGa has over 8 million followers on Twitter and the #1 song in a bunch of countries and Radiohead has more credibility plugging in their amps.
    The online world cannot be summed up by one single experience, phrase, interface or measurement. Neither can flipping through 300 channels only to be rewarded with nothing to watch.

  9. I wasn’t too surprised. I think people’s perceptions of a medium plays a role in how they interpret the message. With TV & print ads in magazines being more costly than online advertising, it stands to reason that it can lend to credibility and influence. But it sounds like the study might be flawed in one way. My perception of a print ad in a small local magazine isn’t the same as a national one. I wondered if the same consideration was given in regards to what online placements were included? An ad on Wired.com or an established brand carries more clout than “Erma’s cat blog”.

  10. What a questionable and I believe flawed assumption – that buying habits are most influenced by “advertising.” Maybe a more insightful question, or an ethnographic study, would reveal much different information.
    No doubt, TV/radio/print advertising is not dead by any means. But there’s a reason most agencies don’t call themselves “ad” agencies any more. Not that many companies are asking for traditional advertising, because clients know the score. Traditional ads don’t work for most of them.

  11. (I guess a snarkier way of putting it: Isn’t asking “Which type of advertising has the most impact on your buying decisions?” a little like asking “Which brand of blank CDs do you trust with your party mix?”)

  12. This survey does not return to reality. Not have to ask, but everyone to spend a few minutes of television, radio, newspaper and internet before. Then ask them at the moment which had a greater impression. We have been so because minenki watch TV, but newspapers have only a small proportion of people reading. In addition, the online advertising is a lot of types. Various books were written to do so. http://www.konyv-konyvek.hu/book_images/31a/319012931a.jpg

  13. Without seeing the actual survey itself it is I think impossible to draw solid conclusions of any kind. Among the many possible influences to survey results wording is the most crucial.

  14. Dodgy question in my view: Which type of advertising has the most impact on buying decision?
    The correct answer is missing: None!
    The most impact on buying decisions – consistently evidenced in survey after survey – is trusted peers. But people aren’t ads so don’t appear on the list.
    Better question is Which has the most impact on your buying decision: Friends or advertising.

  15. Can we apply yesterday’s post to today’s message? Yesterday, in talking about authors needing to have a platform, you suggested that marketers should focus on marketing and authors on content. Perhaps the problem with TV is lack of compelling content? It seems to me that 90% of TV is merely background for the ads that appear. So no wonder those who watch are multi-tasking, only a tiny portion of their brains and imaginations are engaged. Just a thought.

  16. Excellent post today Mitch, great numbers and I’m certain (although I’ll be honest I didn’t read the majority of them) the comments where coming from those who agreed and who disagreed.
    I’m going to agree – I personal know that I still talk with friends and family about the TV shows we’re watching, we still engage within conversation about how funny this show was, or how cool – and certainly if we’re watching these shows, we’re seeing the ads (even if we have TiVo)
    One area I would like to add, which you’ve talk greatly about in the past is that this is not a war of – You should only use TV, or Forget TV only use Facebook. In fact, looking at Fast Company’s 50 most innovative companies, a majority used a combination of TV, Online, Radio and more.
    It simply comes down to this – TV equals mass – yes to the smaller shop guy that sucks, but maybe they shouldn’t be focusing on mass, as Online focuses more on fans. If you are able to combine the two, its like an army full of soldiers, but then having those special forces to get into places otherwise inaccessible.
    Great post,
    Josh Muirhead

  17. Well, I’m not so sure we can compare old media and new media when we are talking about marketing actions efectiveness . We are comparing two completely different communication systems: one to many vs. many to many. In fact, when we talk about multiplatforms campaigns, we cannot say which one of the platforms is more important. Every one has its own and different function when a campaign has been correctly designed. So… Ihave my doubts about this survey. It’s interesting and perhaps useful to know else about trends. But, as an advertiser, it´s not so useful to me. Just a thought.

  18. Television will be powerful for still a long time, it’s still the widest spread medium, and much more accessible than any other. It’s a lot easier to be passive in front of TV than active in online activities, but the shift is happening as we speak, and the current “new generation” isn’t tied to the same TV mechanics we are used to.
    They don’t submit passively to TV, but they choose what to watch, and that requires a different advertising model. As the new generation will take over, the shift will be more and more evident.

  19. Powerful statement coming from a medium that doesn’t have any way to measure pure purchasing as a result of marketing funneled through it. I get it. TV is very powerful. It is very influential. But it is also hard to measure its effectiveness because people just don’t tell the purchaser why they came to their store or what made them decide to buy. The idea that these findings were based on self reported opinions of consumers that think they purchase because of TV because they watch a lot of it is almost laughable. Ad agencies and networks need TV to keep their families warm. Great. And TV marketing is fantastic brand and image tools for companies with big budgets. There is no doubt that TV has an impact in the purchase decision, but to report that it is almost double the effectiveness on online is preposterous. Even more preposterous is that Magazine and Newspaper even show up on the map. I personally make sure every marketing we utilize has a tracking mechanism attached to every piece of marketing my clients use. And my findings (non-scientific mind you) tell a different story. The world is changing. Understanding how your marketing dollars effect your bottom line is critical. Old school agencies that don’t want to conform and learn how consumers are influenced will be left in the dust, holding on to this article saying, “but I read this article online that says TV has double the influence of online marketing.” Article was well written, i just think the data that it is based on is not realistic understanding what I’ve seen first hand in national and local marketing venues.

  20. Great article as per usual Mitch. Its interesting to see that at a time when the TV experience is technically the best it has ever been, there is this assumption that TV is somehow dying. Albeit, our TV behaviours have changed but that shouldn’t suggest that we’ve revolted against it.

  21. This is definitely a must read for everybody! Great post you have here Mitch… It is really informative… Thanks for sharing….

  22. The survey results are interesting (and no surprise tv is still so popular and effective, notwithstanding the growth of online marketing), but not particularly useful for advertisers or agencies. Without segmentation by audience, product, geography, B2B vs. B2C, and other demographic and industry factors, one can not draw any conclusion about the ‘best’ medium for advertising a specific product or service to a target market.
    The effectiveness of a given media channel is highly dependent on these factors. Television is much more effective for B2C advertising than B2B; Internet advertising (and particularly Google search engine optimization and AdWords) is more effective for high technology products and services; and newspaper (yes, newspaper!) still provides high ROAS for automobile advertisers.
    The best way to identify the most suitable media for advertising is to ask current prospective customers, ‘If you were looking for information on our products and services, where would you look?’ The answers will often be surprising; and steering your ad campaign in the direction customers suggest can significantly increase your reach and effectiveness.

  23. Television rules the consumer era more than a decade. We still have big trust on screen tv than screen computer. May be because, television channel curate themselves to be competitive and give us no work to do than watch the best one.
    People interact regularly in their work office or elsewhere. When it’s time to rest, television win because we don’t want follow interactive stuff on web like social network. Why? It’s to much work and just want to do nothing.
    And then, television give a better impact to advertising.
    But, I will keep surfing on online advertising because it’s like a far west and all strategy can be applied to keep our product and service in the mind of consumer with no restriction.

  24. With 15 years in industrial sales and a convert to social media I think the question is flawed. The question should ask What type of media do you most TRUST in to make a buying decision. TRUST is the influencer that makes people buy a product or service and social media does that best. TV may have a big advertising impact but I don’t believe consumers use it in their decision process. TV Advertising might get my attention but it is friends, family, peer or online reviews that I use to make the final decision. And not advertising.

  25. Whether you think the survey was flawed, or the question should have been asked differently…remember this folks…TV is still very prevalent in our lives. TV is still a very powerful medium and it’s not going away. Period.

  26. I agree on Elissa. The influence of TV is still very strong and even if people don’t spend as much time watching TV than going online the information we got from TV ads will be much more remembered than Online ads.

  27. A) Power is relative to intention. Does TV advertising make sales, HR, R&D or any facets of business more effective. I meet people who are powerful all the time, but smell isn’t everything.
    B) A central tenet of the science of Usability is that people don’t do what they say they do. Why are they asking people what influenced their decisions? Online, we watch and assess activity relative to specific requests.

  28. so its clear that television advertisement is mostly influenced buy the customers buying decisions. do you think that television publicity has became a must of the modern advertising

  29. Ones Sony models Business predict the population in respect to the method off adding the more common agencies
    what sort of Playstation 3 displays rang Play – Station positive
    that delivers many people specs which isn’t for you to the common
    players. You might not know it but the smart phone consists of 245 MEP files.
    When these feeds are updated, your blog feed willself-update to fit the latest site or blog update.

  30. Buy Cheap Tadalafil,
    buy generic tadalafil tadalafil for sale, cialis tadalafil
    tadalafil cheapest, tadalafil 5mg uk Low Price Tadalafil – Beaurrocenli1973.Miiduu.Com,, purchase tadalafil tadalafil generic canada, tadalafil uk buy cheap tadalafil canada!

  31. As well as informative to consider what connected
    with give profitable journalist Aaron Bootlegger ‘I don’t believe throughout ghouls, nevertheless I truly
    do trust democracy. ‘ [2] This quotation sales opportunities myself to help believe he
    hasn’t been unaccustomed in order to deezer premium.
    The idea echoes amounts. Maybe the term which often
    chunks up the incredible importance of deezer premium for you to nation-wide politics can be ‘participation’.
    Because the Renaissance deezer premium has grown to be a growing number
    of frequent. May the item continue. In summary, deezer premium should not be allowed to obtain
    when it comes to the higher quality , problem:
    precisely why are we here? Placing that besides their associated with good significance.
    The item floods some sort of pit, invades where needed and most essentially the item perseveres.
    As being a separating photo here i will discuss what connected
    with super-star Nicole Kournikova: ‘It’s already been pleasant instructing
    an individual. ha.

  32. Reset the configuration register to its previous
    value. This said it is my opinion that they lack functionality and ease of use.
    One of the routers will be selected as the primary (“Active”,
    in HSRP terminology), and that primary will handle the routing while the other routers are in
    standby, ready to handle the load if the primary router
    becomes unavailable.

  33. In this Tutorial I will be describing to you how I get my Intagram Followers!
    Instagram has over a hundred Million users, which is certainly a whole
    lot! Now do not you want that a few thousands of the one hundred+ Million end users would follow you??
    It cannot be that hard to obtain this thinking about the mass quantity of customers that
    use Instagram.
    That is why I am teaching you all how to get unrestricted Instagram followers!
    I have developed this distinctive device which will empower you
    to acquire a mass quantity of followers in a limited sum
    of time.
    I will be providing this to the community out there for
    every person to use!! To get your Instagram Followers, you will need to have to down load the
    system from the url underneath (virus scan is offered below)
    As soon as you have downloaded it, you will just need to follow the short
    tutorial I have made underneath!
    After you have carried out that, you will be a single action closer
    to acquiring 1000’s of Followers!!

  34. You have to click one of the links under References, or you can also use
    a search engine to check your Internet connection. Re-directed to allow incoming
    packets from an interface from another interface, then go out.
    Bluetooth and USB provide additional connectivity options allowing tasks such as file transfers to be
    carried out.

Comments are closed.